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Wednesday February 19th, 2020 8:47AM

Georgia gas prices up, still lower than national average of $2.92

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Gas prices in Georgia jumped six cents over the past week, remaining lower than the national average of $2.92 a gallon at $2.78.

Nationally, the southeastern states have the lowest prices; gas averaged above $3 a gallon in 14 states Sunday, mostly in the northeast and western United States. That's according to AAA.

AAA Weekly Fuel Price Report indicated Georgia's Sunday average is the most expensive daily average since November 2014 and 59 cents higher than this time last year.

Atlanta carried the highest price at $2.81, Brunswick followed at $2.80 and in our area, Athens was the third highest at $279. The lowest prices were in Augusta and Columbus at $2.68.

Hall County's prices match the statewide average of $2.78.

Rising crude costs, switchover to more-expensive-to-produce gasoline by the federal deadline on June 1, tighter supplies and robust gasoline demand continue to help lift pump prices across the nation. 

"Current fundamentals will likely lead gas prices higher before the Memorial Day weekend," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Regardless of higher prices at the pump, AAA still forecasts the most holiday road trippers in more than a dozen years. Those with smaller gasoline budgets will find other ways to finance their travel plans, like cutting back on discretionary expenses like shopping or dining out."

One significant reason for higher crude prices is tightening global oil supplies. After being oversupplied for several years, AAA's partners at OPIS believe global demand will exceed global supplies by about a million barrels per day in the middle-third of this year. 

Because of the tightening supply market, OPIS believes oil prices could reach as high as $90 per barrel before the end of the year. While that high is not guaranteed, gas prices would be 50 cents higher, if it happened. 

And, the average family is expected to pay $200 more for gasoline this summer and $250 more than summer of 2016.

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